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Nielsen: Nearly 16 million watched Ghana-US World Cup thriller on TV

NEW YORK (AP) - Nearly 16 million people in the United States watched the country's World Cup opener on television.

The Nielsen company says 11.1 million people who saw the U.S. beat Ghana 2-1 on ESPN on Monday represented that network's biggest audience for a soccer match. Nielsen says an additional 4.8 million people watched the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision.

That's down from the 17.3 million who saw the first U.S. match in the 2010 tournament, against England, which was shown on ABC and Univision on a Saturday afternoon. Four years ago, 19.7 million people watched the U.S.-Ghana match in the knockout round, which ended the United States' run in the tournament and was also shown on ABC and Univision on a Saturday afternoon.

ESPN says an additional 469,000 watched a digital stream of this year's match, a usage record for its WatchESPN app. Comparable Univision numbers were not immediately available.

There's a strong likelihood viewership for the next two U.S. games will eclipse the 2010 tournament, in part because the time zones in Brazil are close to those in the U.S. Games four years ago with Slovenia and Algeria, shown on ESPN and Univision in the morning hours, reached 7.5 million and 8.7 million.

Through 14 games, World Cup action on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC has averaged 4.11 million viewers, up from 3.35 million at the same juncture in 2010, Nielsen said. ESPN's streaming viewership is up 170 percent over the last World Cup.

Nielsen does not measure people who watch the games at work or in bars.

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sarracen June 18 2014 at 11:20 AM

I'm going to assume that all the negative comments are from couch potatoes that have never played soccer, let alone any other sport. Boring? How about sitting through 9 innings of a 1-1 tie. Fake injuries? Hmm, pro wrestling comes to mind.
I can't think of any other sport that can bring the world together better.

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12 replies
bennettjoey June 18 2014 at 11:25 AM

Nice. There was almost 30% of the viewers watching it on the spanish networks in America.......with the rate of increase of illegals in this country I should probably work on my spanish. It will be the language of the future USA at this rate.

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9 replies
Sophie1150 June 18 2014 at 1:13 PM

Hoping soccer will replace the NBA.

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2 replies
scorpian777 Sophie1150 June 18 2014 at 1:30 PM

I'm hoping too!!!!

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1 reply
realbritfl scorpian777 June 19 2014 at 11:07 PM

The idiot "Randy" who commented that "there are now two brain dead fools who think soccer is a "major league sport" obviously does not know that the average attendance at MLS games is now higher than average attendance at NBA or NHL games. And if baseball salaries keep rising at their ridiculous rate fans won't be able to afford to go to Baseball games any more and soccer will be the No 2 sport behind the NFL. Wake up to reality Randy

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younusseedat Sophie1150 June 19 2014 at 3:10 AM

hope not.

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JOHN T MILLER June 18 2014 at 10:42 AM

Soccer is the sport of all mankind. It is the best to play and second to watch. Someday USA will realize.

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2 replies
onalaska JOHN T MILLER June 18 2014 at 2:17 PM

Actually ESPN did a subjective analysis several years back to rank the most athletic sports based in speed, endurance, skill, etc etc. Soccer came in down the list behind baseball. It is the worlds #1 played sport probably because its very inexpensive to play (all you really need is a ball), and it requires very little skill to get started. That being said, the World Cup is a major sporting event and should be treated as such.

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younusseedat JOHN T MILLER June 19 2014 at 3:15 AM

well said my friend.

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John June 18 2014 at 11:43 AM

It's all the Illegal's here in The United States of America de Mexico!

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5 replies
happy2bgridfree June 18 2014 at 2:23 PM

I'm guessing the the majority of viewers in the ratings are Hispanic, watching on Hispanic networks that broadcast in the states. This is not a racial statement, just a personal opinion based on the fact that Soccer is adored by just about every other country, EXCEPT the United States. Soccer is something we sign our kids up to play when they are young but otherwise ..... meh.

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2 replies
lgvxl42 happy2bgridfree June 18 2014 at 3:13 PM

...........Moronic remark!....But, I doubt any English, Aussie, German, Russian, Italian ........need I go on........will mind your ignorance to the sport.

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younusseedat happy2bgridfree June 19 2014 at 3:22 AM

i disagree. i'm from UK.love soccer.

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kwise007 June 18 2014 at 1:11 PM

Maybe its ok if the rest of the world likes soccer (football) and the U.S. doesn't. Let the rest of the world have something to enjoy, that's ok. We've tried for years to export many of our games oversees with limited success. I like going to places where they have games like cricket, rugby, etc. that we aren't all that involved with. It makes the world a fun and interesting place.

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madcap.1 June 18 2014 at 11:11 AM

this has more to do with patriotism than soccer.
when the USA beat the Russians in hockey look at that number.
as soon as the world cup is over people Americans will quit watching this girls sport

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5 replies
Yollie June 18 2014 at 1:31 PM

sooo instead of enjoying the world cup people hating each other, how sad!!

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1 reply
lgvxl42 Yollie June 18 2014 at 3:14 PM

Kind of dumb, aren't they!

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tropicalriderceo June 18 2014 at 2:02 PM

if it's not Rugby, it's not worth a damn ;-))))

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1 reply
younusseedat tropicalriderceo June 19 2014 at 3:25 AM

you need to have brain to learn these games.

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